Katie Gaswint, Owner of Katie Marie’s Adult Day Care Home in Marysville, WA, talks about adult day care.
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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
And Welcome back to answers for elders radio everyone, and we are here with a brand new guest, Katie gas wind. And Katie, you are a very, very unique individual that takes care of seniors in your own home and you’ve kind of started this amazing concept and I’m so excited to have you on answers for alders. So welcome to the program. Thank you. Yes, I started a Katie’s adult day care home in one thousand nine hundred and ninety five when my husband John was diagnosed with Alzheimers at the age of fifty six. Amazing he didn’t need a nursing home, he needed supervision and decisionmaking, mm, because I could not place him in a nursing home. I he was my family unit and I needed to find a solution to these long term problems that we all have, because he was my husband. Sure, and in being a family member, I’m sure when you were taking care of him, it’s like it’s overwhelming, isn’t it? And you probably at the time when this was all happening, it’s kind of everything snowballing around you. I can only guess, tomate. Is that correct? It’s correct. John just didn’t wake up one day and say, guess what, I got dementia. No, it was a process of elimination and I could not let go of our marriage. HMM, the twenty seven years that we were married. I had to find a solution, not just for him but for me, to where we could stay together longer. M and that in you. You know, the thing that when I first met you not too long ago, was the fact that, you know, you had such an amazing, passionate story about what you went through with your husband and and I know that for our listeners, you know, one of the things, I think, that you didn’t let it beat you. You did something with the experience and you totally now we’re making a difference in so many families lives. So you know, in this in this season, we are now in the in the you know, the thanks giving season, it’s understanding. You know how grateful we are for people like you. So thank you for making a difference with our seniors. Well, thank you. And one of the things that I realize is that these are real people with real feelings. This was my husband and I knew that there was a way that I could take care of him. I just had a half people to help me to do that. And first of all it was to educate people. It wasn’t that we had a bad marriage. He had a disease, right, and I needed to learn about the disease and educate people that just because you have a disease doesn’t mean you have to be in an institution, that we can make a way. There’s no other way. So how did you do that? We all I went to the state and ask them what kind of options I had and they told me nursing home and I said no, I didn’t come in for a nursing home. What are my options? Well, you can divorce them. Well, that did it. So I took my skills of many years and I worked with my mayor, John Nearing, and we created the very first adult daycare home and we built procedures and policies, which is called a manual, to allow families to drop off their loved ones when they needed a break, and it’s called respice care. And so we allow families to come to our home, which is a home. It’s not an institution. We do into this wonderful it’s being in an environment institutional. It’s not an institution. I’m too old to do institutions in the first place. But at my home we got a beautiful backyard with flowers and a big deck that can sit out in the summertime and relax or go pick flowers or weeds or whatever they want to do. In my adult daycare home we only do six clients at a time and that’s good enough. That’s amazing and they feel like they’re in a family environment and we treat them like they’re in a family environment. We take them place. It’s just like they do at home. We take them on outings. We even go to the casino, we have birthday party, we celebrate life, and that’s what it’s all about and those golden years, is to be able to celebrate life and give the family the time that they need off, you know, and you talked about the whole respite peace, but I think it’s more than that. It’s giving them, you know, a social outlet and it’s also, you know, I think one of the things that you’re doing is, you know, I mean I think about all the reasons why we need adult care homes and would you share with me, like what are the benefits? Well, the benefit for me was that I had a life again, even though my husband had a disease, I was able to go and do whatever I needed to do because I have my daughter who stepped up at the plate and said, mom I want to help you with dad and keep them home. So not only did she take care of her day and she took care of the other clients that came in and they she was able to help other families at the same time, because this disease is seven hundred and forty four hours in the month. It doesn’t just come and go correct and I think that’s so important for families to know that there’s help out there. So you can have time off and you can have a life yourself. It’s not the life you want, but at least you have your your partner, your soul mate with you and it gives you time to make up your mind what you need to do, not what an institution tells you to do. Right, but it gives you that time to say, you know, I need to make a change. I always say make a plan and go on living right. You can always change your plan, but you still have your loved one with you, right and you know and that’s important. So we are speaking with Katie gaswind and you Katie, you have you work with several communities now in snohomish county. Tell me a little bit about your network. Well, we had a meeting last month with John Near and my mayor and Marysville and several other mayors inst the homish county. We had mayor’s coming from Derrington, Monroe, we had them from Everett. So what we’re trying to do is to educate the mayor’s and there in the communities that you live at. I think it’s really important that mayors understand what’s going on in their communities so that they can help the families that live in the communities that they are officially voted on. And I think it’s really good because, as baby boomers, there’s so many of us and they’re going to continue to get bigger and bigger and bigger. Well, and I think you’re giving a purpose, a sense of purpose for those that may be cared for a spouse or an elder parent that maybe all of a sudden they don’t know what to do with their life again and they built up. I know for me, I got into this industry because I realized that I wanted more out of my life than just being in the corporate world right and I had to find my my place. And I think there’s a lot of people out there that have cared for a loved one that want to do something like that with their life and have that, you know, those expect that experience have the kind of meaning for them that they could move forward. I mean, who would you do? You agree with me on that? Oh, I do. After John passed away, I still had this purpose of helping other families because I knew that when I was taking care of John, that there was others just like me, and sure enough, my phone was ringing off the wall. And what we’re doing now is we’re helping other families open up adult and day care homes so that they not only can they take care of their loved one, but they can also help other family members that are going through it too, and they’re able to stay with their loved ones a lot longer. And what goes on in your Adult Day Care? You have staff there that you bring in? Then, Oh, yes, I do, but what we do in my home is we do a lot of crafts. In fact, tomorrow we’re going to be doing punk and bread and banana bread, and then what the girls do is that they wrap them up and we give them to the homeless, we give him to the fly department, the Police Department, and we do a lot of different things than the home and by the end of the day, as the day goes so fast because we’re so busy with them. And what’s so nice it reminds me of sitting around when my grandma would go to visit. My grandma should have all this stuff out for us to eat and play with and all that. So it brings back memories, especially with the girls. Sure, yeah, and you know, that’s the thing, I think that’s so valuable about having that, you know, that circle that come ardery, the the ability for the mind to stay active. So obviously, if you have a group of seniors with varying degrees of dementia, having that outlet of being able to do crafts, being able to do different things, you know, during the day is so important to them for to use their their brains and to watch them do it. It’s so priceless. These girls get together and talk about what they did in the past and their recipes and how to do this and how to do that, and and we have people that come over and help and you know, we pulled in different people. The mayor stops by and he visits with the girls, that has coffee with them, and we invite people from the community because we want people to know this is family, this is a family environment. Why their family is out doing what they want to do and when they come back together and they pick them up, it’s nothing but smiles. Right, right. So obviously you guys in working with families. What what do you? How do you? I guess work with families. You work with, obviously people to help them open their own yes, soility, but you also take in residence as well. So tell me a little bit about your processes. Well, what we do is, especially with the residents before we take them and we do a complete assessment on them because we want to make sure that we can take care of we sit down with the families and we discuss making a plan because we need we need to know that these families will work with us, because it’s some families are in denial and that’s okay, right, and so that makes it really nice. And then when we start talking to other people about opening up an adult day care, we want to make sure that they understand the process. This is just something that you’re just going to walk in and get a certificate, because there’s a lot of work to be done and absolutely when they complete it, then they get a certificate saying that they completed everything. Sure, on Adult Day Care, but what I’m so proud of is to know that we have mayors out there that are willing to say, let us help you, and that’s so important because, you know, there is a recognition. There’s so many families we’ve been talking about, you know, lately that are just absolutely overwhelmed and don’t know what to do and, you know, just to have a place where you can say, you know, I’m taking care of my mom and she’s driving me crazy, but I just need a break. Maybe it’s a couple of days a week that they go to your place and, you know, you have that piece of mind to know that your loved one is there and they’re having a great time. So that’s really important and one of the things is really important for me part of my job is it’s not about guilt. There’s no guild in it. That’s good. That’s good. So, Katie, how do we reach you? Well, you can reach me at my website, which is Katie Marie’s Adult Day care home. Why don’t you spell that part for us? It’s Katie as adult day care homecom MMM. Or my phone number is three six hundred six fifty three hundred one sixty seven, or four to five, eight seven, zero, four six four. I’m so glad to have you guys on the on the program today, and I’m just helpful that we can do a lot of good in our communities thanks to you. Thank you,
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Founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., Suzanne Newman proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne Newman found herself on a 6-year journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. In 2009, she became the founder and CEO of Answers for Elders, Inc., subsequently hosting hundreds of radio segments and podcasts, as well as authoring her first book. Suzanne and Answers for Elders, Inc. have spent 14 years, and counting, committed to helping families and seniors along their caregiving journeys by providing education, resources, and support. Each week on the Answers for Elders podcast, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including Health & Wellness, Life Changes, Living Options, Money, Law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.